10th October 1872

Guernsey Ladies’ College opened

The independent, fee-charging Ladies’ College opened in St Peter Port in 1872 as a female-only institution. Since 1999 it had shared some lessons with the nearby Elizabeth College, meaning some boys will attend in the Sixth Form. It established its own kindergarten in 1884, initially taking pupils of either gender, but boys were excluded after 1916.

While it took Elizabeth College two centuries to increase its pupil roll to more than two dozen, Ladies’ College crossed that threshold within its first four weeks. Opening its doors to around a dozen pupils on 10 October 1872, the number had doubled by the end of the month. It reached 70 by the end of the year. By 1900 is had taken in its 120th student, and its 1000th pupil was enrolled in 1908.

Its first headmistress, Dorothea Beale, had been educated at Cheltenham Ladies’ College, and so unsurprisingly Guernsey Ladies College followed many of the principles of its mainland equivalent.

Sites and movements

Upon its foundation and for its first 85 years, the college occupied Lynton, a house on the Grange. When this started to feel cramped, it expanded into Ladymeade, the property next door. The house on the Grange is now the home of Guernsey’s Education Department.

Ladies’ College’s current premises, off Les Gravees, was built in 1963 at a cost of £132,000. The foundation stone was laid by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.

The school’s four houses are Brock, Carey, Durand and de Saumarez, and its motto is Fais ce que dois advienne que pourra, which translates to Do your duty, come what may.

Early in the Second World War, most of the pupils and students were evacuated en masse to the mainland in advance of the Occupation. Just a handful remained on Guernsey to complete their education. Those who evacuated were initially schooled in Lancashire, but spent the large part of the war in Debigh, Wales.


FREE Guernsey history newsletter

Don't miss our weekly update on Guernsey's fascinating history. We promise never to sell your data to anyone else, and there's a super-easy unsubscribe link on the bottom of each email so you can leave whenever you want. We'll also keep you up to date with our latest book releases and early-bird discounts.


Other events that occured in October

Guernsey Post Office was established 1st
Guernsey switched to Reichsmarks 2nd
Sark was the target of Operation Basalt 3rd
Sark voted for democracy 4th
Guernsey lifeboat saved a Swedish schooner 5th
Jeeves actor died in Guernsey 6th
Sarnia Theatre celebrated its most successful year 7th
The Story of Adele H opened in cinemas 8th
Howards’ Way came to Guernsey 9th
Guernsey Ladies’ College opened 10th
A Trislander ate itself between Jersey and Guernsey 11th
The Channel Islands’ king set sail for England 12th
Major General Sir Isaac Brock died 13th
Footballer Matt Le Tissier was born 14th
Island FM brings commercial radio to Guernsey 15th
Channel Television saw off a rival broadcaster 16th
The first mines were dug on Sark 17th
Sark’s Stocks Hotel was damaged by fire 18th
Elizabeth College’s foundation stone was laid 19th
Hitler ordered the Channel Islands’ fortification 20th
Guernsey’s stone crackers demanded a pay rise 21st
The desalination plant opened 22nd
Sir Charles Hayward buys Jethou for £91,000 23rd
Guernsey Monopoly board game went on sale 24th
Dame Sibyl Hathaway chose her Desert Island Discs 25th
GUNS founder Charles Machon died 26th
Bailiff Sir Peter de Havilland was born 27th
A man “disappeared” from a Guernsey ferry 28th
Express & Star bought Guernsey Press 29th
The first lighthouses were built on the Casquets 30th
States of Guernsey voted to lower the voting age 31st